Reigning champions Germany will meet Mexico, South Korea and Sweden in Group F as they look to defend their FIFA World Cup crown in Russia next year.
The official draw for the tournament was made in Moscow on Friday, with Joachim Löw’s side among the top-seeded teams based on the latest FIFA rankings.
17 June 2018, 17:00 CEST, Moscow: Germany vs. Mexico
Germany will face Mexico in their opening game in a re-match of their semi-final encounter at the 2017 Confederations Cup, which Germany won 4-1.
Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Marco Fabian scored a long-range stunner for Mexico in that fixture, and he will be eager to regain fitness in time for next summer. Fellow Frankfurt player Carlos Salcedo and former Bayer Leverkusen striker Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez are also set to feature for El Tri against Germany.
23 June 2018, 17:00 CEST, Sochi: Germany vs. Sweden
On paper at least, Mexico will be Germany’s toughest opponent in the group phase. However, they will not want to take their second game against Sweden lightly. Currently ranked 18th in the official FIFA rankings, the Scandinavians no longer count on talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic but they should not be underestimated after knocking out four-time champions Italy in the qualifying play-offs.
Indeed, RB Leipzig midfielder Emil Forsberg is a key member of their side and will be Sweden’s chief hope of unlocking Germany’s defence, while Hamburg defensive midfielder Albin Ekdal and Werder Bremen defender Ludwig Augustinsson will seek to keep out Timo Werner, Leon Goretzka and Co at the other end.
27 June 2018, 16:00 CEST, Kazan: South Korea vs. Germany
There will also be familiar faces for Bundesliga followers in Die Nationalmannschaft‘s final group outing against South Korea.
Augsburg duo Ja-Cheol Koo, Dong Won Ji and Borussia Dortmund‘s Joo-ho Park are all likely to be involved alongside former Leverkusen and Hamburg forward Heung-Min Son. At 59th in the latest FIFA ranking, the Koreans are the lowest-ranked side in the group.
Should Germany progress, as is likely, from their section, they would face either the winner or second-placed finisher in Group E, which includes Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia and Costa Rica.